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Japan cabinet approves anti-conspiracy bill amid civil rights concerns

“ [Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide] Suga said the legislation would apply only to groups preparing to commit terrorist acts and other organised crime groups and would not target the ‘legitimate activities’ of civil groups or labour unions.

Opponents, including the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, have doubts. They view the proposed change as part of Abe's agenda to tighten control at the expense of individual rights, chilling grassroots opposition to government policies such as the construction of a U.S. military base on Okinawa island.

‘It is very clear that the Japanese public security sector – police and prosecutors – employ an extremely expansive interpretation of any aspect of criminal law so ... regardless of the limited list of potential crimes, they will interpret it in an extremely elastic way,’ said Lawrence Repeta, a law professor at Meiji University in Tokyo.

The lawyers' association has said Japanese law already prohibits preparations to commit certain serious crimes such as murder, arson and counterfeiting or plotting an insurgency or the use of explosives, so additional legislation is unnecessary.”

Reposted frommr-absentia mr-absentia

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